Muscles as Femininity - TennisForum.com

View Poll Results: If youwere a pro, and felt you needed Serena-type muscles to win, would you?
Pump up, even though I felt it made me 'unfeminine' 56 63.64%
Accept losing. I am not a freak, and I don't want to look like one. Winning isn't everything. 32 36.36%
Voters: 88. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 112 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Muscles as Femininity

This thread was inspired by something in apoet29's Kournikova's Crisis Deepens thread.

If you asked me who the most 'womanly' woman on the WTA tour was, I'd answer 'Serena Williams' without a second thought. That isn't entirely unbiased. There are at least 30 women in my family who, if you added 20 pounds or so, then adjusted weight in proportion to height, are built exactly like Serena. Hips, breasts, thighs, big arms. Only the athletes among them have Serena's definition of course but to me, Serena's body is not that far out of the ordinary. The women on both sides of my family are kinda built like that.

The article in poet's thread quoted Anna as saying "I hate my muscles. I don't want to look like they [Venus and Serena] do. I'm not masculine like they are."

First, as Venus would say, Anna's entitled to her opinion. (My own opinion is that comparing Anna to Serena is like comparing a match to a forest fire. But Anna has her fans and I say God bless 'em.) So, second, can we please lay off the Kournikova bashing in this thread? The quote actually points out an interesting problem for many players.

A lot of the women on the tour are going to find themselves faced with a difficult emotional issue. They've been told all their lives that defined muscles are 'unwomanly' or 'unfeminine'. Yet, they've become professional athletes. For professional athletes, ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL, more muscles means better performance. These women face a choice.

1) They can be lift weights, get bigger muscles, and (maybe) be more successful. But sacrifice their 'femininity', in their own eyes. (Of course, they are REALLY sacrificing any such thing, but if it's THEIR perception, they have to deal with it.)

2) Don't lift, and don't be successful.

Even Martina Hingis showed up this year with (slightly) bigger arms and shoulders, and more definition. (And IMHO, her famed 'touch' would NOT suffer if she added more muscle mass to her arms, SLOWLY, like over a year.) So it's fair to say that more muscles is something ALL the most successful players are going for.

What do you think of this?
Do you find muscles 'unfeminine'?
Would you accept mediocrity in your chosen profession rather than get more muscles?

What would you do if you genuinely felt your choices were getting more muscles or continuing to lose? But you also genuinely felt that muscles were 'unfeminine'?
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post #2 of 112 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 03:22 PM
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muscles are sexy...and besides its fun to show them off so id like it , even if i were a chick .....they play as professionals , there paramount concern is to win no matter the sacrifice ..they arent there to look pretty , well most arent!!

Good luck to the Aussie and Balkan girls!
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post #3 of 112 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 03:25 PM
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Im not really into huge muscles on females (dont flame me, just my opinion) so I voted for option 2.
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post #4 of 112 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Iva's #1 Fan - I'm not passing judgemnet here. I want to know how people's feelings split on the issue. My family being as it is, I obviously will vote for #1 when I vote. But it's hard for me to even really understand people who think musles are unfemine. Muslces on women are sexy. Can they BE both sexy and unfeminine? Maybe that's the topic of another poll.
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post #5 of 112 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 03:31 PM
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I think that muscles are okay. Like Venus and Serena. They may be muscular, but I think they still look feminine.


What's scary is those female bodybuilders. They can be ridiculously muscular. I personally think they aren't very good to look at (apologies to female bodybuilders)


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post #6 of 112 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 03:33 PM
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I kinda mean what Alexis is talking about...those types Hence my saying "huge"...but I dont have anything against those that have them
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post #7 of 112 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 03:35 PM
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Of course 2..

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post #8 of 112 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 03:37 PM
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I'm a guy, so I can't answer for the gals. But if the question is whether or not muscles make women look masculine, then I'd have to say yes. Strong, well-defined muscles, like facial hair, a deep voice and broad shoulders are masculine characteristics.

I think a distinction should be made by recognizing that there are degrees of physical masculinity in females. There's a spectrum that goes from a little tone (fitness models) to the professional body builders that from a distance are indistinguishable from Arnold Schwartzenegger. I think that all of the women on the tour that could be called somewhat masculine fall on the side of the fitness models and can't be considered more masculine than feminine. Serena (except for the arms), is one of the most feminine with her shapely curves, facial features, smooth skin and girlish voice.

Another point that should be made (as pointed out by brickhousesupporter in apoet thread on Anna) is that it's questionable whether having strong muscles are a requirement for doing well. Look at Hingis and Henin. They're in the Top 10 and at a time when women's tennis is at its most competitive level.
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post #9 of 112 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 03:38 PM
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Definitely #1 for me... Like Volcana , it 's because of my family as well... If all the younger women in my family did not work out/lift a little, there's no telling how our thighs, butt and waist etc. would look :P

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post #10 of 112 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 03:40 PM
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I go for 2 but I am not a sporter
but why is Anna`s I hate my muscles so special, I had a fav who didn't say different in almost every interview, she made rows with photographers who wanted to show them because it made her feel bad, of course she was number 1 so it didn't stop her career

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post #11 of 112 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 03:44 PM
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#2

She should be happy as she is.

Good luck in 2015 to my favsKIRILENKO**Zvonareva*Kuznetsova*Sharapova*Kleybanova*Vesnina*Shvedova
Puchkova*Kulikova*Pavlyuchenkova*Makarova*Panova*Pervak*Diatchenko*Pivovarova*Gavrilova*Putintseva*Khromacheva*Gasparyan*Leykin a*Zhuk*PotapovaAZARENKA *Govortsova
MINELLA LARRIERETsurenkoAlize Lim*El Tabakh*Robson*Cirstea
*Juhaszova*Zanevska*Broady*Bouchard*
Cetkovska*Svitolina*
Pliskova's*Rus*Bellis*Soylu*Sibille*Uberalova*Eden Silva*
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post #12 of 112 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 03:45 PM
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As a raving-leftwing-pc-liberal-upper middle class-male, I'm not all that comfortable in discussing issues dealing with "should be and shouldn't be" of a woman's body or femininity.

However, I do think that women in competitive sports who focus on whatever it takes (whether or it be muscularity or leanness) are the ones who will most likely control their own destinies.

I think by virtue of the fact that a person is female automatically makes her feminine. I'm wondering what happened in history that made men the sole proprietors of muscle.

If a woman feels comfortable (as do many men), let them pump it up.

Volcana, this is a thoughtful thread. The women in your family sound beautiful.

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post #13 of 112 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 03:47 PM
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Yep all the players are female as they do have to under go a "Femininity Test"

Good luck in 2015 to my favsKIRILENKO**Zvonareva*Kuznetsova*Sharapova*Kleybanova*Vesnina*Shvedova
Puchkova*Kulikova*Pavlyuchenkova*Makarova*Panova*Pervak*Diatchenko*Pivovarova*Gavrilova*Putintseva*Khromacheva*Gasparyan*Leykin a*Zhuk*PotapovaAZARENKA *Govortsova
MINELLA LARRIERETsurenkoAlize Lim*El Tabakh*Robson*Cirstea
*Juhaszova*Zanevska*Broady*Bouchard*
Cetkovska*Svitolina*
Pliskova's*Rus*Bellis*Soylu*Sibille*Uberalova*Eden Silva*
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post #14 of 112 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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I'm the only person on the entire board who can't make a link to an image work.
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post #15 of 112 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 03:54 PM
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the two options are rather harsh aren't they?
I think the truth is in between. Getting in form is not bad, but I wouldn't like to look like those weightlifters you see on screen. Neither Venus nor Serena look that way. If you are only muscles as a woman you have no breasts and that is definitely not sexy for me... Serena has obviously enough of them...

So what you ask is really: What would you prefer:
Looking like Anna and not winning any tournament or looking like Serena and winning let's say 4 tournaments a year?
I think that's not a real intelligent question because neither we nor the two players can acutually decide out of these two options, can't we?

BTW: I have opted 2, but I don't like this question being linked to the two players...

Monica announced her official retirement on February 14, 2008. What a sad day! I'm proud to be a Selestial and I admire Monica for her fighting spirit and her character.
The tennis world has lost one of the greatest players of all time! Have a wonderful post-tennis life!

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